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Authentic Chicken Pho Recipe: A Taste of Vietnam

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Authentic Chicken Pho Recipe: A Taste of Vietnam


Indulge in the heartwarming flavors of Vietnam with our Authentic Chicken Pho Recipe

This beloved dish captures the essence of traditional Vietnamese cuisine, offering a symphony of fragrant aromas and rich tastes.

The Allure of Pho Ga

Pho Ga, also known as Chicken Pho, is a classic Vietnamese noodle soup that has gained global popularity for its intricate balance of flavors.

This recipe guides you through the art of crafting this comforting delicacy right in your own kitchen.

Pho Ga (Chicken Pho)

Ingredients You’ll Need

Gather these essential ingredients to embark on your journey to create an unforgettable bowl of Chicken Pho:

Chicken (whole or parts)2-3 lbs
Onion (yellow or white)1 large
Ginger3-inch piece
Chicken broth or water8 cups
Star anise3-4 pieces
Cinnamon sticks2-3 sticks
Cloves5-6 cloves
Fish sauce3-4 tbsp
Sugar1 tbsp
SaltTo taste
Rice noodles8 oz
Bean sprouts1 cup
Fresh herbs (Thai basil, mint, cilantro)As needed
Lime2-3 wedges
Jalapeno or Thai bird’s eye chiliOptional
Hoisin sauce and SrirachaFor serving

Feel free to use this table as a quick reference for gathering the ingredients needed to prepare Pho Ga.

In the creation of Pho Ga (Chicken Pho), various ingredients play distinct roles in crafting the dish’s rich and aromatic profile:

Chicken (whole or parts): The primary protein source and the foundation for the broth. It provides a rich, savory flavor to the soup.

Onion (yellow or white): Adds sweetness and depth to the broth as it simmers, contributing to the overall flavor profile.

Ginger: Infuses the broth with a warm and fragrant flavor, enhancing the aromatic qualities of the soup.

Chicken broth or water: Creates the base of the soup, providing a liquid medium for all the flavors to meld together.

Star anise: Offers a distinct licorice-like aroma and taste, contributing to the unique flavor profile of the broth.

Cinnamon sticks: Adds a warm and comforting spice to the broth, complementing the savory notes of the chicken.

Cloves: Provides a rich, aromatic flavor to the broth, adding complexity to the overall taste.

Fish sauce: Adds umami depth and saltiness to the broth, enhancing its savory qualities.


Balances the flavors by offsetting the saltiness and enhancing the overall taste of the broth.


It acts as a seasoning to bring out the ingredients’ flavors, ensuring the broth is well-balanced.

Rice noodles: 

The traditional noodle choice for Pho offers a chewy and soft texture that absorbs the flavorful broth.

Bean sprouts: 

Adding a fresh and crunchy element to the soup provides a contrasting texture.

Fresh herbs (Thai basil, mint, cilantro): 

These herbs provide freshness and aromatic notes that complement the broth’s and chicken’s richness.


Squeezed into the soup before eating. It adds a tangy and zesty kick that brightens up the dish.

Jalapeno or Thai bird’s eye chili (optional): 

These peppers add heat and a layer of spiciness to the soup for those who enjoy spice.

Hoisin sauce and Sriracha (for serving): 

Optional condiments allow individuals to customize the flavors to their preference, adding sweetness and heat, respectively.

Each ingredient in Pho Ga is crucial in creating a balanced and flavorful dish. 

Combining these elements creates a harmonious blend of aromas, tastes, and textures, making Pho Ga a beloved and comforting culinary experience.

What's The Difficulty of the Recipe, and Why?

The difficulty level of cooking a recipe can vary based on individual cooking skills and familiarity with the techniques involved. 

However, I would categorize this Pho Ga (Chicken Pho) recipe as medium difficulty.

Here’s why:

Reasons for Medium Difficulty:

  1. Broth Preparation: Creating a flavorful and balanced broth requires some attention to detail, such as parboiling the chicken, simmering the broth for an extended period, and adjusting the seasoning to taste.

  2. Charred Ingredients: Charring the onion and ginger might involve an open flame or broiler, which requires care to avoid burning them while still achieving the desired smoky flavor.

  3. Assembly: Assembling the bowls with noodles, chicken, and garnishes involves coordination to ensure the components are hot and ready when served.

  4. Customization: The use of optional ingredients like jalapeno or Thai bird’s eye chili, as well as the hoisin sauce and Sriracha for serving, might require some judgment in adding the right amount for desired flavors.

  5. Noodle Cooking: Cooking rice noodles correctly to achieve the desired texture without overcooking can require a bit of practice.

While the recipe isn’t overly complex, it does involve multiple steps, attention to detail, and some traditional cooking techniques that might be new to certain cooks. 

With patience and following the instructions closely, individuals with moderate cooking experience should be able to successfully prepare a delicious Pho Ga bowl.

Crafting the Broth

Simmering Perfection

The soul of a Chicken Pho lies in its broth. Parboil the chicken to ensure a clean, flavorful base. 

Simmer the broth with charred onions, fragrant ginger, star anise, cinnamon sticks, and cloves. 

These ingredients create a symphony of aromatic notes that will dance on your taste buds.

Mastering the Balance

Elevate your broth with the umami depth of fish sauce and a touch of sugar to balance the flavors. 

Don’t forget to adjust the seasoning with a hint of salt for perfection. 

This broth is the heart of your Chicken Pho, so allow it to simmer and develop its rich profile.

Assembling Your Bowl

Layers of Delight

Cook your rice noodles to perfection, ensuring they maintain a delicate chewiness. 

Lay the foundation of these noodles in your serving bowls. Add tender slices of chicken, which have absorbed the broth flavors, on top.

Burst of Freshness

The essence of Chicken Pho lies in its fresh garnishes. A shower of bean sprouts, Thai basil, mint, and cilantro adds a burst of color and texture.

Squeeze a tangy lime wedge into your bowl for an invigorating zing.

Customizing to Perfection

Add slices of jalapeno or Thai bird’s eye chili for those who crave an extra kick. Serve alongside hoisin sauce and Sriracha for a personalized touch.

Each diner can tailor their Chicken Pho to their preferred flavor profile.



Embrace the culinary adventure of creating Authentic Chicken Pho in your own kitchen. 

This recipe invites you to savor the essence of Vietnamese cuisine with its fragrant broth, tender chicken, and a medley of fresh herbs. 

A bowl of Chicken Pho is more than a dish – it’s a journey to the heart of Vietnam’s culinary heritage.

Experience the warmth and flavors of tradition with each spoonful. 

Share the joy with loved ones, and embark on a culinary journey that’s as comforting as it is unforgettable.

Tips written on die

Additional Notes and Tips

Here are some additional notes and tips to consider when preparing Pho Ga (Chicken Pho):

  1. Skim the Broth: Skimming off any foam or impurities that rise to the surface of the broth during the simmering process helps achieve a clearer and cleaner broth.

  2. Herb Usage: When adding fresh herbs, tearing them slightly before placing them in the bowl can help release their aromatic oils and enhance the fragrance of the soup.

  3. Char Carefully: When charring the onion and ginger, use tongs to rotate them over the flame or under the broiler. The goal is to achieve a light char for flavor, not to completely burn them.

  4. Chilling Noodles: After cooking the rice noodles, rinsing them with cold water prevents them from overcooking and sticking together. It also cools them down before they’re added to the hot broth.

  5. Adjust Spice Levels: If you’re unsure about the spiciness level, start with a small amount of jalapeno or Thai bird’s eye chili, and gradually add more according to your taste preference.

  6. Use Tongs: When assembling bowls, using tongs can help distribute the noodles, chicken, and other ingredients evenly without overhandling them.

  7. Ladle the Broth: When pouring the hot broth into the bowls, use a ladle to evenly distribute it over the noodles and chicken. This ensures that every bite has the full flavor of the broth.

  8. Customize Condiments: Provide a variety of condiments, such as hoisin sauce and Sriracha, so diners can adjust the flavors according to their liking.

  9. Prepare Ingredients in Advance: You can save time by preparing the charred onion, ginger, and other ingredients in advance. This way, the actual cooking process will be smoother.

  10. Experiment with Garnishes: Feel free to explore different herbs, such as sawtooth herb or culantro, as well as additional garnishes like fried shallots or crushed peanuts, to add your own twist to the dish.

  11. Broth Storage: If you have leftover broth, allow it to cool before refrigerating or freezing. This way, you can enjoy a quick bowl of Pho Ga in the future.

  12. Patience with Broth: The longer you simmer the broth, the more flavorful it becomes. If time allows, consider simmering for a longer period for a richer taste.

  13. Consistency of Noodles: Pay attention to the cooking time of the rice noodles. They should be tender but still have a slight chewiness. Overcooked noodles can become mushy.

  14. Garnish Placement: Arrange the herbs, lime wedges, and other garnishes artistically on top of the bowl for a visually appealing presentation.

Remember, cooking is an enjoyable journey of exploration and experimentation. Embrace the process, and don’t hesitate to adapt the recipe to suit your taste preferences.

Authentic Chicken Pho Recipe

Recipe by Chris Cooper
0.0 from 0 votes
Course: MainCuisine: Other world cuisineDifficulty: Medium


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Pho Ga is a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup made with fragrant chicken broth, tender chicken slices, rice noodles, and a variety of fresh herbs and spices. This comforting and aromatic dish is a favorite among many and is perfect for warming up on a chilly day.


  • 3 lbs 3 Chicken (whole or parts)

  • 1 large 1 Onion (yellow or white)

  • 3 inch 3 Ginger

  • 8 cups 8 Chicken broth or water

  • 3 pieces 3 Star anise

  • 2 2 Cinnamon sticks

  • 5 5 Cloves

  • 3-4 tbsp 3-4 Fish sauce (to your taste)

  • 1 tbsp 1 Sugar

  • Salt To taste

  • 8 oz 8 Rice noodles

  • 1 cup 1 Bean sprouts

  • as needed as needed Fresh herbs (Thai basil, mint, cilantro)

  • 2-3 wedges 2-3 Lime

  • Jalapeno or Thai bird's eye chili - Optional

  • Hoisin sauce and Sriracha - For Serving


  • Broth Preparation
  • Char Onion and Ginger: Place the onion and ginger over an open flame or under a broiler until they are slightly charred on the outside. This step imparts a smoky flavor to the broth.
  • Parboil Chicken: Rinse the chicken thoroughly and place it in a pot of boiling water. Allow it to boil for 5 minutes, then drain and rinse the chicken again. This helps remove any impurities from the chicken.
  • Boil Broth: Fill a large pot with 8 cups of chicken broth or water. Add the parboiled chicken, charred onion, ginger, star anise, cinnamon sticks, and cloves. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface.
  • Simmer: Let the broth simmer for at least 1-2 hours, occasionally skimming the surface to remove impurities. The longer it simmers, the richer the flavor will become.
  • Seasoning: Add fish sauce, sugar, and salt to the broth, adjusting the quantities to taste. Simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes.
  • Assembly
  • Prepare Noodles: Cook the rice noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water to prevent sticking.
  • Slice Chicken: Remove the chicken from the broth and let it cool slightly. Then, slice or shred the meat into thin, bite-sized pieces. Discard any bones and skin.
  • Strain Broth: Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove solids. This will result in a clear and flavorful broth.
  • Assemble Bowls: Divide the cooked rice noodles among serving bowls. Top with the sliced chicken.
  • Pour Broth: Ladle the hot broth over the noodles and chicken. The hot broth will heat the noodles and chicken.
  • Add Garnishes: Place bean sprouts, fresh herbs, and lime wedges on top of the noodles and chicken.
  • Spice It Up: For those who enjoy spice, add sliced jalapeno or Thai bird's eye chili.
  • Serve: Serve the Pho Ga with hoisin sauce and Sriracha on the side, allowing diners to customize their bowls according to their preferences.


  • Nutritional Information
  • Calories: Approximately 300-350 calories per serving (calories may vary based on portion size and ingredients used).
  • Servings: 4-6 servings, depending on portion size.

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Frequently Asked Questions: Authentic Chicken Pho Recipe

1. What is Authentic Chicken Pho?

Authentic Chicken Pho, also known as Pho Ga, is a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup made with fragrant chicken broth, tender slices of chicken, rice noodles, and an array of fresh herbs and spices.

2. Can I use boneless chicken for this recipe?

Yes! You can use boneless chicken parts like chicken breasts or thighs. Just ensure they’re cooked thoroughly and sliced before adding to the broth.

3. How do I achieve the best chicken broth flavor?

Achieve a robust flavor by simmering the broth with charred onions, ginger, star anise, cinnamon, and cloves. The longer the simmer, the richer the flavor.

4. Can I use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth?

Certainly! If you’re looking for a vegetarian version, you can use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. Adjust seasonings accordingly.

5. How can I adjust the spice level in Chicken Pho?

To control the spice level, add sliced jalapeno or Thai bird’s eye chili, according to your preference. Remember to taste-test as you add.

Pho Ga (Chicken Pho)

6. What’s the role of fish sauce in the recipe?

Fish sauce adds umami depth and saltiness to the broth, enhancing its savory qualities. Start with a small amount and adjust to taste.

7. Can I make Chicken Pho ahead of time?

Absolutely! You can prepare the broth and store it separately. When serving, heat the broth and assemble the bowls with fresh ingredients.

8. Can I use dried rice noodles instead of fresh?

Yes, you can use dried rice noodles. Follow the package instructions for cooking them before adding them to the bowls.

9. What are some alternative herbs for garnishing?

In addition to Thai basil, mint, and cilantro, you can try sawtooth herb, culantro, or even parsley for a unique twist on the garnish.

10. How long does it take to make Authentic Chicken Pho?

The process can take about 2-3 hours, including broth simmering time. However, the rich flavors and aromatic experience are worth the wait.


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Pho Ga (Chicken Pho

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